blog title image with espresso shots in background on white table with black overlay and text Espresso vs Expresso what is the correct pronounciation?

Expresso vs Espresso

When one enters the coffee world, they must learn an entirely new vocabulary, it can be difficult, and most pre-established coffee fans will forgive you for mixing up what a Ristretto and Doppio are, they might even forgive you for not knowing the difference between a Latte and a Cappuccino, one thing that they will not accept, however, is calling an Espresso an Expresso *ugh*.

Just like when learning a new language, you tend to start with the basics such as “hello” and “goodbye”. It’s no different with coffee, and one of the first things you should learn is that its called an Espresso, not an Expresso. Asking for an Expresso will get you an eye twitch and a quiet, defeated sigh from your barista. And please! Do not make the ‘classic’ joke “Can I have an Espresso expresso please?”. We have heard it before, you comedic genius. If you are going to do that, just add, “por favor” at the end instead of “please”, so then it’s at least like you’re just speaking a little Portuguese (Expresso in Portuguese means ‘Express’).

It’s surprising how common it actually is to hear someone say ‘Expresso’ so we’ve done some very scientific research and created our own theories on how “Expresso” came to be a thing.

Theory 1 – Latin

Latin is the base of many languages around the world. English speakers get the word “Espresso” from the Italians using the word Espresso which means “pressed-out”, as in, the coffee is being pressed out from the coffee bean grinds. And the Italian language likely got the word from the Latin word, “Exprimere” which means the same. Italian often takes the “ex” that can be found in Latin and turns it into “es” and therefore language evolution is a theory into why people often call it “Expresso”. But -here’s the thing people, Latin is a dead language, so stop using it in your everyday life and keep it just to your edgy Instagram captions.

Theory 2 – Dictionary

It has come to our attention that Expresso is in a few online dictionaries, BUT words only end up in dictionary’s if a word is used enough, not because its a legitimate word. If anything, if it’s getting so popular that it’s ending up in dictionary’s, this just makes us more determined to educate people on the correct term. What a sad time it would be if “Expresso” actually became the norm.

Theory 3 – Community 

Many people grew up hearing it being called an Expresso by their parents, friends, general community, etc. and have never actually looked too much into how it’s actually spelt, so they then pass it onto the next generation.  Reasonable enough, but now that you’ve read this blog, you know better – so let’s not pass it on anymore!

 

In conclusion, though there *may* be some reasonable excuses one might call it an Expresso, like if you’re trying to bring Latin back, or you’ve never actually known it was wrong, BUT if you want to be apart of the sophisticated club in the coffee world, ditch the ex, and start saying “es”… por favor?

Lastly, if you’ve read the words espresso and expresso so many times in this post that it’s now boggled your mind and you don’t know which one is correct anymore, let us write in a big font, so that if there’s one thing you remember from reading this, it’s the correct pronunciation of the word –

 

ESPRESSO

 

Ryadan Jeavons

by Ryadan Jeavons

Ryd is a passionate coffee educator who started his career in 2000 as a barista. Having seen the coffee industry develop over the years and how much there is to learn about coffee still, his personal mission has become a role as the conduit between the industry and the consumer. He is passionate about educating the public on all the wonderful things we are learning about this golden liquid drink.

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